Power & Market

States Rights and Anti-Interventionism is Rising

Super Tuesday saw Donald Trump sweep all possible state delegates except for the state of Vermont. However, hovering just below the surface were a series of propositions that were voted on by the Texas Republican Party. Various propositions touched on topics of gold as legal tender, border security, and school choice, but the most interesting was Proposition 6. Proposition 6 reads as follows: “The Texas Legislature should prohibit the deployment of the Texas National Guard to a foreign conflict unless Congress first formally declares war. YES or NO.”

The Texas GOP voters voted over 84% in favor of this proposition that would halt the national guard from being deployed abroad. The scale is astonishing as well, as 84% is near 1.9 million Texans. This proposition is commonly called “Defend the Guard” legislation. 

This is a part of a growing trend of states exerting their influence over their National Guards. Those interested in peace are particularly interested in this mission, to prevent further men and women being deployed overseas for undeclared wars. 

The Army National Guard is commonly deployed overseas to serve in overseas theaters like Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan. In Operation Iraqi Freedom alone, the Washington Post reports 482 National Guard members that were killed abroad. The Council on Foreign Relations goes further to call the role of the National Guard “vital” as over 1 million guardsmen have deployed overseas to serve. 

There has been a decline in recruitment for the military as of late, meaning that there likely will be a greater reliance on National Guard servicemen as time goes on. War is a messy business. Those who declare it must bear the consequences of what it inflicts on their citizenry. The issue of “power of the purse” has long been dismissed by governments, so the last scarce resource they have for their undeclared war are men. States preventing their National Guards from being deployed would create more scarcity of servicemen for the military, meaning that wars are less possible to engage in. Especially those illegal, undeclared, and brutal wars as any American has seen as of late. 

The Texas Republican Party is not the only group as of late to endorse the effort. Prominent Republican politicians like Thomas Massie and Vivek Ramaswamy have endorsed the legislation. Some states have passed Defend The Guard legislation through chambers of their legislature. Idaho recently saw their State Senate pass the legislation and pass it to their House of Representatives. It has done the same in Arizona, where it passed the State Senate and is to be voted on by their House, pushed by Republican politicians like Wendy Rogers. The New Hampshire house passed it on thin margins and has seen it endorsed by Gubernatorial candidates. Montana has tried many times to pass the legislation with limited success. Only time will tell. States have begun to stand up to the Federal leviathan and hold them accountable for their undeclared wars.

States passing this legislation exert their rights over their national guards and hold the Federal Government to the flame of accountability. Long have politicians dodged accountability for the deaths of soldiers with their lack of declaring wars. With this legislation the Federal Government must now declare war, put their names on the record in favor of conflict, if they wish for Guardsman support. States can apply pressure that might bring about peace, and the beginning of 2024 looks like it might be a part of a wave of state’s rights returning to America. 

Note: The views expressed on Mises.org are not necessarily those of the Mises Institute.
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